24 April 2022
Emmanuel Macron won his second term as French President. He secured 58.54% of the votes against his rival Marine Le Pen who only secured 40.46%. This is the second time Macron and Le Pen face each other and a consecutive defeat for Le Pen.
This year, her defeat is also marked by a victory as many French voters showed support for Le Pen and her far-right ideologies depicting a prospective shift in the scope of French nationalism.
The French hold elections every five years and a French President can hold office for only two terms.
There were 12 contenders for the 2022 French Presidential Elections.
In the first round, none of the candidates managed to secure 50% of the votes and a majority of the votes went to Macron 27.84%, Le Pen 23.15% and Melenchon 21.95%. This result shows the reality of a divided France as the candidates are spread over the spectrum with Macron being a centrist, Le Pen a far-rightist, and Melenchon a far-leftist representing three extremes.
Macron and Le Pen advanced to the second round where the people chose Macron making him the first incumbent President in 20 years to retain office for a consecutive second term.
Analysts contend that the people of France chose Macron over Le Pen in fear of Le Pen’s policies given the current global situation and did not necessarily want Macron again. Le Pen being a far-rightist has been clear on her conservative and isolationist policies which she claims is the need of the hour for France.
These policies seem sceptical to the French public given recent scenarios including the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit. A Frexit today would further lure France into danger as for a couple of years unemployment and inflation has soared.
After getting re-elected, Macron voiced out to unite a divided France. In addition to this effort, some of the biggest challenges for Macron in the start of his second term would be the Parliamentary elections and his pension reform schemes.
Macron’s second term will be very different from his first as radicalisation is underway and Macron, representing a centrist neo-liberal worldview needs to tackle these issues through a responsible frame in par with the changing world order.